Saturday, July 15, 2006


Impermanence. Inconsequence. Insignificance.

We're all just footprints in the sand…to be washed away by the rising tide. The tide always rises.

Linda died yesterday. I was right there, 2 doors down, watering the grass clippings back into the lawn, recycling the piles of prunings and weeds from the day's gardening, chasing my daughter around the yard. A hook and ladder, then another fire truck, and then a paramedic truck pulled up our block.

Damn, it's Les, we all thought, our 95-year-old neighbor, as we hovered closer. I can still smell his stogie lingering after he shuffles up and down the block in his blue coveralls and plaid bedroom slippers. Poor guy. So depressed all the time, heart as big as the moon, waiting to die. Still shuffling up and down the block, slowly up and down, sometimes leaving gardenias at our doorstep, "for the little one," he'd say, or stopping to pet the cat while he caught his breath.

But it wasn't Les, it was Linda, his daughter. She was 62 I think. Had a terrible lung condition compounded by cigarettes and a drug habit. Couldn't ever seem to get her life together. She hadn't been well for some time. They lived together, she supposedly to take care of him. I couldn't tell who was taking care of whom.

She just fell and couldn't get up. "I've fallen and I can't get up." It's almost comical in it's simplicity, except it's tragic. Frail Les, hollowed and weak, bless his heart, tried to pick big Linda up and get her to her bed. She never woke up. She just let go.

What is it when a parent outlives his children? Les had already lost his wife and son years ago and now this, his other child too. What is the significance, the lesson of that? How much loss can one heart take?


I think of all the inconsequential things in my life…all the hours, days, weeks, years spent in pursuit…of the perfect pirouette, heart-wrenching melody, lyrics that rang true, show that entertained, lover who stuck around, youthful beauty and glamour. Who cares about ballet, music, art, well-crafted pop songs, a good meal, movies, stupid tv theme songs or jingles that sell a car? It's impermanent. In the face of death, it's meaningless. Disposable.

This is a funny town. A lot of people hate LA. They say it's so shallow, so plastic. Yes it is, it is, it CAN be, if you subscribe to that kind of nonsense. But you're missing the point, my friends, if that's all you can see.

Life is a buffet. Pick up a plate and take your pick…

You want plastic? Pick up a twinkie.There's an endless supply.
You want organic? Amazing things grow in this climate.
You want inspired? Go to any number of places, artistic, spiritual or otherwise.
You want beauty? There's an abundance of it.
You want wealth? This town is dripping in it.
You want vistas? We got vistas.
You want real? You can find that too.
You want make-believe? We got that in spades!

We got your jello, your vanilla, your leafy green, your silicone, your vegan, your botox, your meat, your designer threads, your actor studs, your artisans, your charlatans, your real and your surreal, your exotic and your erotic, your sunshine, your citrus blossoms and jasmine, ocean and pearls, friends and yoga, meditation, incantation, creation, suburbia, mommy groups, revitalization of the public school systems, revitalization of independent thinkers, self-made men and women, entrepreneurs and much, much more… create what you want.

If you can think it, you can achieve it. It's all here. Prime for the picking. So what are you going to put on your plate?

Pick wisely.

It'll all be done soon any way…and our footprints will cover over…invisible… as the tide rushes in and washes it all out to sea.

I sure hope my life will mean something at the end of my days. That my contribution will be worthwhile.


I'm running along the ocean bluffs again today and am reminded of a song I wrote a few years ago. We started to track it for a 2nd album and then scrapped the whole project. Still like the song though. Sure wish I could post an mp3 so you could hear it.


They say that time is merely illusion
And time doesn't ever last
Like a train at light speed zipping out into orbit
Just a time warp- better hold on fast

Get it while you can
Before it slips through your hands

But I feel it ticking away - a little more every day
And patience - is more than I can do
I wanna turn back time-time stand still-baby for one last thrill
Just a moment - before you fade to grey

Get it while you can
Before it slips through your hands
You don't know if this minute will be your last chance

London Bridge is falling down
The Big Ole Egghead's lost his crown
Sunken ships were never found
And ancient walls are tumbling down to the ground

Get it while you can
Before it slips through your hands
We never know if this very minute
might be the last chance we have

They say that time is merely illusion
And time doesn't ever last…

Lyrics reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

So beautiful and thought provoking, thank you.

jennifer said...

Thank you Tanya, your words are so vast and important.


Suzy said...

Very powerful Tanya- ours for the taking.